Today, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, faces his Senate confirmation hearing. Mattis reportedly received his nickname “Mad Dog” after leading US troops during the 2004 battle of Fallujah in Iraq, where he is accused of carrying out war crimes by our guest, Aaron Glantz, a senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: We move now to a hearing that’s expected to happen today. Nermeen?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, faces his Senate confirmation hearing today. This comes as House Democrats are threatening to revolt over the waiver needed for Mattis to serve as defense secretary, after the Trump transition team blocked him from testifying before the House Armed Services Committee. Mattis only retired from the military in 2013, meaning he needs Congress to waive rules requiring defense secretaries to be civilians for seven or more years after leaving the military. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has said she’ll vote against the waiver for General Mattis, saying, quote, “Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”
AMY GOODMAN: James Mattis reportedly received his nickname “Mad Dog” Mattis after leading US troops during the 2004 battle of Fallujah in Iraq. He enlisted in the Marines at 19, fought in the Persian Gulf War, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, where he served as major general. In May 2004, Mattis ordered an airstrike in a small Iraqi village that hit a wedding, killing about 42 people who were attending the wedding ceremony. Mattis went on to lead the US Central Command from 2010 to 2013, but the Obama administration cut short his tour over concerns General Mattis was too hawkish on Iran, reportedly calling for a series of covert actions there. Mattis has drawn…